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Memorial garden in memory of those who have lost their life to Covid-19

Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital Trust are launching a fundraising appeal to develop memorial ‘Rainbow Gardens’ in memory of all the local people who have sadly lost their life to Covid-19, including two beloved colleagues.

With a target of £35,000, this will allow a garden to be created at both hospital sites, a memorial for lost colleagues, and additional tables and benches to be located for patients and staff to enjoy.

During the pandemic the rainbow has become a symbol of support for the NHS. The garden will be a dedicated space for families and colleagues to visit, a calm and peaceful place, to remember those loved ones we have lost. To date, 200 people have sadly died at the Trust from Covid-19, including two colleagues, Kevin Smith and Dr Medhat Atalla.

Doncaster Echo spoke to Paul Haslam, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Rekha Ramanath, Consultant Care of the Elderly, who are both leading on the project. They said: “Dr Atalla and Kev Smith will be greatly missed by everybody at the Trust and the local community. After speaking to both families and also colleagues who have worked with Dr Atalla and Kevin Smith, it is felt the creation of a memorial garden in their honour will be a fitting legacy and I think they would be pleased that it will be somewhere that would put a smile on people’s faces for the benefit of all.

“Whilst clapping for our colleagues it became clear to me that the outdoor environment could be significantly improved. There are no end of opportunities to make the hospital environment a better place to be. Improving our outdoor spaces will help to ease some of the pressure and provide a better quality outdoor environment for colleagues, supporting better mental health and wellbeing.

“Since the appeal was launched in June 2020 we have been inundated with offers of support from our brilliant local communities. Thank you so much to everyone who has been in touch to offer everything from benches to plants!

We hope work on the Rainbow Garden at Bassetlaw Hospital will commence mid September.  The work on the garden will be carried out by J P Fox Services of Worksop who will be providing their services free of charge.  We are very grateful to John and Carolyn Fox for their support and we’re so excited to see the finished product!

“At Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Elaine Cresswell from reShaped has visited the site and we are waiting on Elaine’s design plan which we will share as soon as we receive it. Thank you to David from AWS Landscapes for their continued support.”

To support the Rainbow Gardens’ appeal you can donate on the JustGiving Page by clicking here.

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